Author Archives: Richard Clare

Liberal Youth Elections 2013…England Convenor: Rich Clare

Rich ClareIt’s that time of year again – time for the young Liberals to choose their executive. I’m standing for Convenor of LY England and I have two main aims: to protect and expand Liberal Youth’s resources by promoting us within the Federal and English parties, and to turn us into more of a campaigning force across the country. Although I have two years’ experience as branch chair in Sheffield Hallam, I am not part of the LY ‘clique’ – if I become the new Convenor, I will be a fresh …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , , and | Leave a comment

Opinion: Proposed conference motion on extradition to the US

USA Flag - Some rights reserved by freefotoukIt’s that time of year when Federal Conference Reps are pestered for signatures to help get motions selected for Spring Conference and this is no exception.

Our motion concerns US-UK extradition terms and follows the conclusions of Sir Menzies Campbell’s report on the treaty recommending the introduction of the ‘forum bar’ to allow judges a greater role in deciding on extradition, and a minor amendment in the actual treaty to afford those arrested in the UK the same legal

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Opinion: The Liberal Democrats must welcome disaffected Blairites and One-Nation Tories

Campaigning alongside a Lib Dem councillor recently, I mentioned the several recent high profile defections of Blairites to the Conservatives. I was a little disappointed they’d felt that the obvious choice was to go to the Blues.

People that liked Tony Blair more than they liked the Labour brand in general are precisely the kind of people that handed the party thirteen years of office. Their exodus from Labour, a backlash fuelled by the anti-New Labour revolution that put Ed Miliband in power, was a sign that the party was letting an election victory slip out of its sights.

To my surprise, …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 23 Comments

Opinion: Stop the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer

Recently Sheffield Hallam student Richard O’Dwyer lost his court case against extradition to the USA for running a website that provided links to websites where users could illegally pirate copyrighted TV material. He will be lodging an appeal with the High Court and he cannot be extradited without the specific permission of the Home Secretary Theresa May.

Richard’s actions were not a crime in the UK because his website did not host the files but rather hosted links to the websites that did host the files, like Google does. Quite simply, it goes against the terms of the Extradition Treaty …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Tottenham points to wider policing problems

The last couple of evening riots in London, starting in Tottenham and working their way across the capital, seemingly sparing no town in its wake has left us in shock. People are being injured, the police and innocent bystanders as well as the rioters and looters. Again and again though, the question that people keep asking is “What’s going on?”

They are right to ask. Unfortunately, the riots have occurred while a high number of our leading politicians are out of the country. David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Nick Clegg, they all could have spoken with authority on the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 16 Comments

Opinion: Mayoral Hustings – Twists and turns and four good horses

I’ve never been to such an event before so I didn’t know what to expect. Regardless, I made it to the Hustings in Kings Cross, the first ‘proper’ Hustings as I think the Chair described it.

Mike Tuffrey gave the first speech. It was fairly standard: he outlined his experience on the GLA and said that if he won the nomination, it would be his 14th election. “My 13th election wasn’t unlucky for me, in fact it was my best to date.” he said, naming a few impressive percentages the Lib Dems had got in the last London Assembly elections …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 12 Comments

Opinion: Why you should be taking Lembit Opik seriously

It’s hard to raise the subject of Lembit Opik without somebody cracking a joke. He’s certainly not loved by our own party’s leadership and many see him as more of a celebrity than a politician. I can, however, name two other people who are hated by their party’s leadership and seem to be two parts celebrity, one part politician, and they’ve both held the position of Mayor of London.

Lembit has great recognition among people. My own unscientific polling leads me to believe that he isn’t far behind Ken and Boris in who knows who he is, which is quite a …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 62 Comments

Opinion: Why do we allow new-born babies to be circumcised?

As a Liberal, I believe that religious freedoms are important and need legal protection, but they are no more important than any other kind of personal freedom. People should be able to live according to their religion as long as it exists within accepted law just as people should be able to live according to whatever other ethics or ideas they have as long as doing so exist within the law. We must never fall over ourselves trying to grant special freedoms on a religious basis that we wouldn’t afford to any other citizen, nor must we deny freedoms simply …

Posted in Op-eds | 42 Comments

Opinion: One good reason to vote Lib Dem

With the looming by-election in Oldham East & Saddleworth and each candidate eager to win, with each of their respective parties hoping to be able to boast about the win for years to come, I’d imagine the people of OE&S are probably scratching their heads. A Labour party that endorsed the Phil Woolas who combined pretty much everything we hate about politicians in his lies intended to stir racial tensions? A Liberal Democrat party that, let’s be honest, is not the most glamorous of groups at the moment, still reeling from scandals and broken pledges? A Conservative party barely even …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged , , and | 49 Comments



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    I haven't got a strong view about Scottish independence, other than that as a liberal I believe in self-determination and so if the will of...
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    Wow. That last paragraph truly is nothing more than an effort to bully/intimidate people into silence. Truly, in so many ways, the people at the...
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    Of course the defence to an action for libel is that the statements are true. I look forward to any libel action therefore as the...
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    Bullying and intimidation of the very worst kind. So much for the part of the party constitution's preamble which pledges "We will at all times...
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    The puzzling thing for me in all this is that the party's leadership, and people advising Lord Rennard, think that elaborate legal process is the...
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    Having spent a large chunk of my life helping to address the appalling situation created by the battling nationalisms within Ireland (now hopefully at last...